My first roommate in college was named Emily. I’d never met anyone like her. She was a fun-loving girl from a well-to-do Connecticut family. She loved archaeology and traveling. We used to sit on her bottom bunk as she recounted tales of her summers abroad and the men she’d met there. These guys would often call. I especially liked the one with the Scottish accent. She also spent a lot of time on the phone with her mom. It seemed to me that they had a great relationship and talked on the phone like best friends. I didn’t see much of Emily in the evenings. Her bed was often empty. I figured she was with a guy, but discovered that there had been a few.
Soon, however, there was only one…CARLO. Carlo was an Italian model; very handsome with short brown curls. He also drove a Porsche. Carlo wasn’t a student, but a good friend of our neighbor. I remember the first moments of their relationship and all of the excitement and life that brought to Emily. While Emily had been one of the most promiscuous women I’d ever met and I know she and Carlo were intimate, they believed they had found true love and were committed to waiting for their wedding day to consummate their marriage. I think this was mostly Carlo’s principle, but Emily liked that about him. I didn’t get to know him very well personally, only through my talks with Emily. Carlo invited Emily to see him in Florida for Valentine’s Day. She was giddy with excitement before she left. She told me she felt like a child before Christmas. She was expecting Carlo to propose to her.
One evening, I was on my way out with some classmates when my neighbor knocked on the door. She asked if I’d heard the news and told me to sit down. Emily, Carlo’s brother, and two friends were killed in a drunk driving accident. Carlo’s Porsche had crashed at speeds exceeding 100mph. I was numbed by the news and in shock. The funeral was delayed over a week as the body was transported from Florida back to California. But when the day came, everything came crashing down. Several college friends and I entered the small sanctuary and took our seats. We were given a small card. The cover was a Valentine’s design Emily had recently created. That’s when the tears began. Then the music started. Emily’s favorites…“California Dreamin”, “Miss American Pie”, and Beatles tunes. That’s when the sobs began.
For me the crying lasted an entire year, not a day where Emily was forgotten. Not only did I cry, but I got angry, very angry, angry at the devil. He came to kill, steal, and destroy and I decided it was time for me to fight. I come from a large family and had been to many funerals before. What made this one exceptionally difficult was not just Emily’s young age,19, but the knowledge that she did not know Jesus Christ. For the first time in my life I knew this person would be eternally separate from God. The second death is a much worse tragedy than the first.